Typecasting an Actor – Shaolin – School Blog
Starring Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse
While Jackie Chan most certainly has been type-cast in his career as a personality actor, after all most of the films with wide releases in America that star the Chinese actor have him running around doing crazy stunts and making jokes, he’s definitely a character actor. This is embraced more in his films that are from China such as Shaolin, Shinjuku Incident, and Dragon Blade. He never leaves action behind, but his character might be a comedian or working in a historical fiction drama where he takes his role very seriously.
In Shaolin Jackie Chan is a monk that works with Andy Lau’s character in bringing him back into the monastery. Andy Lau is another character actor, but unlike Chan he does not have the recognition in America. He picks a wide range of diverse roles, but again they most range on action roles. He’s played everything from the villain, to the love interest, to the comic side-kick, though in this movie he takes on a serious role of redemption.
This leads to the youngest actor in this group, Nicholas Tse. A famous singer, he moved into acting because of his mother’s background, and only because it gave him more exposure. Like the others, he tends to star in more action oriented roles. Unlike the others, though, he tended to play the more dramatic, or emotional, roles in his films. However, when Nicholas Tse plays the antagonist he tends to show a serious lack in emotion. In Shaolin Nicholas Tse portrays a lack of emotion, even in his fight scene with two monks.
One might assume from Nicholas Tse’s portrayals as antagonists that perhaps he is, actually, a personality actor, as in he might seriously just lack personality. In this scene from The Promise, he most certainly seems to follow in that direction.
Nicholas Tse, however, tries to go against type cast. Back in 2001, when he was 21, he starred alongside cartoon characters in the movie Old Master Q 2001 (or Master Q 2001 depending on Chinese or American naming). In it, he and his girlfriend end up with amnesia because of three old cartoon characters who then do their best to make sure the two fall in love all over again. There is not much drama or even action (at least in fighting for Nicholas Tse to break out his movie studied martial arts).
With 45 acting credits to his name so far at the age of 33, granted some have been quick cameos like as the waiter in The Medallion, he has played a large range of roles. He plays the hero, the antagonist, the love interest, the comedian, the musician, and once he even played a comic character that came to life and completely acted on the whim of his creators.
Bgblindninja. (2012, January 13). Nicholas Tse vs Hiroyuki Sanada – The Promise. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_U0SD0pnpk
ColonelWEKurtz. (2011, May 21). Shaolin (2011) Nicholas Tse vs Yu Xing and Wu Jing. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDrYFQa63as
Ihatezion. (2013, December 18). Master Q 2001 Trailer. Retrieved March 26, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wShy5snEQQ
Meyers, R. (2011, September 7). More Me in Print, on Line, in Ear. Retrieved March 27, 2015, from http://ricmeyers.com/2011/09/07/more-me-in-print-on-line-in-ear/
Nicholas Tse. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0874866/?ref_=tt_cl_t5
San Siu Lam Zi. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2015, from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1533749/?ref_=nv_sr_1